According to the US Fire Administration, 54% of the total firefighting force is comprised of volunteer firefighters. On top of that, out of the total fire departments registered in the US, 16% are mostly volunteer while 70% are volunteers. These figures show that volunteer firefighters are a big part of the US firefighting fraternity.

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Should I Become a Volunteer Firefighter in the US?

Firefighters drive firetrucks, put out fires, and treat sick or injured people since they are the first responders in case a fire breaks out. Firefighting is a dangerous profession but if you think you have what it takes to become one, then keep reading.
you think you have what it takes to become one, then keep reading.

Education RequiredHigh School Diploma or GED
Experience/TrainingLicense/Certification EMT Certification needed
Experience/Training Training RequiredKey Skills Physical Stamina, Decision-making, Quick Thinking, Courage, etc.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) National $54,650
Job Outlook (2018-2028)5%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Job Outlook

The job outlook for firefighters across the US is not bad. Job opportunities for firefighters are expected to increase by 5% from 2018 to 2028. This estimate has been projected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Steps to Become a Firefighter in the US

You need to meet the following steps to become a firefighter in the US:

Get the Required Education and Meet the Age Limit

Get a high school diploma or a GED as the first step if you want to become a firefighter in the US. Once your high school is finished, consider getting a certificate or an associate’s degree in a subject like fire science because that will improve your chances of landing a job and getting a promotion. Normally firefighters across the US should be 18 years old at least to apply for the position of a firefighter.

Submit an Application and Clear Tests

You need to fill form(s) to apply for the position of a firefighter. Then you will have to go through a series of steps. You will have to clear a written exam and also the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). You will also have to clear a background check and a physical fitness test before you can move on to the next stage.

Clear the Interview

Once you meet the above-mentioned requirements, you will have to go for an interview.

Get an EMT Certification

Quite a few jurisdictions in the US require firefighters to get an EMT certification since they are the first people to reach the vicinity of the fire and might have to treat injured people at the site.

Attend the Fire Academy

Once you have cleared all the steps and met all the requirements of your jurisdiction, you will have to join a fire academy to get training. It can take you around 6 months to get properly trained at the academy.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Volunteer Firefighter?

The duration to become a firefighter will depend on the educational path you have picked and how long it takes you to complete the entire process. The hiring process is quite lengthy and can take a lot of time, so you will have to be patient to get through it.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Volunteer Firefighter?

The following are the requirements to become a volunteer firefighter:

  • Meet the educational requirements
  • Be 18 years old at least
  • Hold a valid driver’s license
  • Apply for the job
  • Clear all the tests and interview
  • Get EMT Certification
  • Complete fire academy training

How Much Can I Earn as a Volunteer Firefighter?

As per the latest information provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters in the US earned $54,650 as annual mean income in the US in 2019. California was the highest paying state in the country for firefighters with an annual mean income of $84,370.